NEW ORLEANS — The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has recognized Taner Akçam’s book titled “The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire” the best book of 2013.

During the award ceremony MESA commission announced: “This is the strongest historical thesis dedicated to the Armenian Genocide ever and this is a very influential scientific work.”

The Middle East Studies Association is a private, non-profit, non-political learned society that brings together scholars, educators and those interested in the study of the region from all over the world.

As part of its goal to advance learning, facilitate communication and promote cooperation, MESA sponsors an annual meeting that is a leading international forum for scholarship, intellectual exchange and pedagogical innovation. It is responsible for the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

Taner Akçam was born in Ardahan, Turkey, October 23, 1953. He is a German historian and sociologist. He is one of the first Turkish academics to acknowledge and openly discuss the Armenian Genocide, and is recognized as a “leading international authority” on the subject.

In August 1988 Akçam began work as a research scientist at the Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Research and Culture. He received his PhD from the University of Hanover with a dissertation titled, Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide: On the Background of the Military Tribunals in Istanbul between 1919 and 1922. Akçam is a former student of fellow genocide scholar, Vahakn Dadrian. In 1997, a Dutch documentary titled “Een Muur van Stilte” (A Wall of Silence), written and directed by Dorothée Forma of the Humanist Broadcasting Foundation (Dutch: Humanistische Omroep Stichting), was made about their “academic relationship.”

Akçam was Visiting Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, United States before joining Clark University’s Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

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